Here is part 2 of tips for Frogging this summer! Hope you find it useful and interesting as I have. You can be sure that I will be trying many of these new ideas and tricks!
26. Makes scents
I like to squirt a little of Berkley's Power Scent into the hollow cavity of the frog. In my experience, it seems to make the bass hit harder and really engulf the bait.
Glenn Hurlbut, New Hartford, N.Y.
27. Hang your frog for dramatic results
When you fish from shore or laterally to the shoreline and there are trees in the mix, try to throw the frog parallel to the shore/treeline. Try to cast it in close to hang over the end of a tree branch. Reel it in till it's hanging vertically off the branch. (Sometimes it gets slammed early.) Just bob it up and down with the legs dangling in the water. When the bass grabs it and the line snaps off the end of the branch, there is enough slack so you won't set the hook too early. I have used this technique dozens of times and have only lost one fish (my fault).
Rich Curley, Centreville, Va.
28. Walk the frog
On some frogs, the skirt that makes up the legs runs in one side of the frog and out the other. If you pull on one leg and make it a little longer than the other, the bait will have some walk-the-dog action on its own.
Aaron Holt, Manhattan, Kan.
29. Match the hatch
The most obvious tip is my favorite: Match the hatch. As everyone knows, small frogs hang out right at the water's edge, popping into the water when you approach. We use the smallest frog we can locate, toss it up on the bank or shoreline, and "pop" it into the water. Let it sit for no more than two seconds, and pop it away from the dirt. This is in open water and right up against standing tules, sunken brush and fallen trees. As a fly fisherman, I tied my frogs with deerhair and used the same technique. If I want to sink them on the first pop, I'll add a split shot right at the eye of the hook, which will pull the nose underwater immediately — it works. Swimming the fly outward will pull bass from a great distance in our almost gin-clear Northern California lakes. The open water technique is extremely effective within 5 to 6 feet of the cheese, mats or heavily grassed areas. Always "jiggle" the rod tip, which creates movement of the legs, and fish that 5- to 6-foot zone EXTREMELY slowly. The tip of splotching the bottom of the frog does work, but my technique has always been to just run a straight hi-vis, 1/4-inch orange or chartreuse line from tip to tail on the underside of solid color frogs, especially white ones.
Bill Adelman, San Pablo, Calif.
30. Put your skirt on backwards
Growing up, I used a lot of frogs on tanks and ponds. This was typically the primary forage for big bass. At times, I couldn't count the number of large bass that I caught out of these little places. As I walked the bank, I was always scaring up frogs, typically leopard frogs. Today, there are many types and manufacturers of frogs, but back in the day, there were very few. The most common one that I used and could afford was the Scum Frog. Those little babies were good right out of the box, but needed more action for the angler to not have to put forth the effort.
While taking a break one evening, I was looking at my frog and wondering what could be done. I began to take apart the frog and I noticed the skirt just slipped over the hook. I took it off to examine it a bit more closely. When I put the skirt back on, I realized that I had put it on backwards. When the rod was jerked to make the frog move, the skirt would straighten out, just like the legs of a live frog, and when the frog was resting, the skirt flared out just like a frog does when it is resting on the water. Immediately I started catching fish — on almost every cast that day.
Try this little trick for inexpensive baits to get more action out of them. The technique can be used on rats as wells as spinnerbaits that have a "one-way skirt," like the H&H Spinner. This little tip will definitely help you put more bass in the boat.
Donnie C. O'Neal, Pflugerville, Texas
31. Take it to the bank
Casting the frog directly onto the bank (on dry ground) is a great way to get bass to bite. I think it's more realistic and subtle to cast the frog onto the shore and then pop it into the water as if it was hiding from a shore predator, and the bait doesn't make the noise of a lure hitting the water.
Brian Barnett, Santa Maria, Calif.
32. Use the moss to your advantage
Cast the frog high and let it hit the moss with a loud plop. Then just let it sit there. With the rod tip held high, don't move the frog but just plop it several times, moving the moss. Then hop it once and hang on.
Brad Clark, Danville, Ind.
33. Father knows best
I've been fishing on Lake Texoma for quite some time and my mother of all people purchased some weedless frogs out of an Outdoor Life magazine that at the time were the big buzz for catching bass. My fishing buddies and I decided to liberate these miracle frogs and put them to the test! It was early spring 1972 when Lake Texoma was still a fisherman's lake, and we proceeded to fish the coves of Mill Creek. When we began casting we expected to catch fish close to the shoreline, but as we slowly retrieved and paused the frog we did not get any hits until the lure was relatively close to the boat. I was still a novice it took me several missed fish before I remembered fishing on a pond in Rhode Island where my dad told me to count to 10 before setting the hook. I was using a bobber and live shad on that occasion, but the minute I started following that technique using the frogs I did not miss a fish, and we all caught fish from that point on! Presentation and patience pay off, as well as remembering what your dad taught you.
Wes Travis, Richardson, Texas
34. Silent but deadly
For a completely silent but deadly lure presentation, cast your frog onto the shore and pull it into the water. I find this to work more times than not. It doesn't matter if there is cover or just open water if you find a spot that is consistently under shade, causing the water temps to stay a little lower than the rest of the pond/lake. Try "walking" your frog right where the shade and sun meet; you can find some monsters just waiting to gulp down that frog!
Dillon Creason, New Castle, Ind.
35. Let the frog be
My best frog fishing was done last summer with my two children, Tyler and Kayla, at their grandparents' old pond. We would cast our frogs out over the moss that stretched out over the edge of the pond approximately 20 or so feet. We would cast out as far as we could, then walk the frog in to the edge of the moss. If we didn't get a bite on the way in, we would let the frog sit at the outer edge of the moss and then wiggle the tip of our poles to make the frog shake. This would generally cause an explosion when the bass took the frog. Talk about thrilling!
Stan Gibson, Brookfield, Mo.
36. Give it some slack
While fishing one day I saw a huge bass come out from under a log at the edge of some lily pads to look at the buzzbait I was pitching at the time. Over the next several days, I came down and fished that spot at least once a day with different lures and tactics to try to bring this bass to strike. I saw the fish twice more but could not get her to do more than look at my lures. Finally, I snuck up to within casting distance of the log early one morning and tied on a frog. I pitched the frog well behind the log into the lily pads and slowly swam it to the log through the weeds. I pulled it onto the log and let it rest there for at least two minutes. Then I gently hopped the frog off of the log, taking care to leave the line slack when the lure hit the water so the frog would float freely. I let the frog sit until the ripples died down, then I twitched it and the water erupted. Several minutes later, I landed a 24 1/2-inch largemouth that I estimate weighed between 6 and 7 pounds. In my part of the country, that is an exceptional bass. I have only seen a couple in my life to top that one. Since then I have used this technique many times. When you walk the frog with slack in the line, the motion is very realistic and will fool those old fish that ignore everything else.
Allan Wright, Erie, Pa.
37. Dress your frog in a skirt
I add a spinnerbait skirt to increase the action of my frogs. I believe the added movement helps the fish zero in on the lure. This can be accomplished by removing the frog body, adding the spinnerbait skirt in the desired color, and then replacing the body. Make sure to put the skirt on in the proper direction. I prefer straight back (the reverse of how it is on a spinnerbait).
My experience with these frog lures is roughly a 50 percent hookup rate. I add a stinger hook to increase the hookup odds and eliminate short strikes. This can be accomplished by using a three-way swivel. Remove the body of the frog. Carefully squeeze the double hook together so you can slip a loop of the three-way swivel over each hook leg. Next, add a weedguard to the stinger hook. A piece of 20-pound mono tied onto the hook works well, or you can purchase stinger hooks with metal spring wire guards. Lastly I add a split ring to the third loop of the three-way swivel and attach the hook to the split ring so the hook lies upright like the frog hooks. You can then replace the frog body. Prior to replacing the frog body, I prefer to add a spinnerbait skirt to the assembly, which further helps hide the stinger hook and keep the weeds off.
Robert J. Hennick, Cayuga, N.Y.
38. Twitch it
Just outside of town we have two little reservoirs. They are not very good fisheries, but they are also young. My story starts at about 4:45 p.m., Jan. 6, 2008. It was about 45 degrees in 4 to 6 feet of water. Because it was winter I knew that I didn't have much daylight left, however I was dying to go fishing and this was the warmest day we had had in a long time. I knew from prior experience that a topwater frog was the best thing to use, so I tied on a Harrison-Hoge Poison Holographic Superior Frog. It only took me about six casts twitching the bait slowly past a patch of sloppy vegetation stretching 1/2 to 1 foot around before one blew up on it. Being as cold as it was, I never expected how this one hit it. When I finally got it in and weighed it, it was just shy of 6 pounds. It was by far the biggest fish caught out of that little reservoir.
Trevor Birdsell, Ashland, Ill.
39. Get a leg-up on lazy bass
When I can't get a strike no mater how I fish my frog (slow, fast, walking it in the open or in the slop), I one leg most of the way off my Spro frog and stick a storm dot on the side with the long leg. Then I throw it where I would fish it in the open and just twitch it like an injured frog trying to swim. The bass in the clear water can't stand it and blow up on it, but you have to be patient — sometimes it takes a while.
Timothy Freeman, Fayetteville, Ark.
40. Keep the rod high
I've been using rubber frogs a lot for about seven to eight years. When I first started, I missed a ton of strikes with the rod tip pointed at the water. Then I raised the rod tip to 10 to 12 o'clock. When you get a strike, your first reaction is to pull or jerk the bait. If you hold the rod tip up, you won't pull the bait right out of the bass' mouth. Arm movement with the rod tip up is minimized to inches instead of feet, so your reaction to the strike isn't so dramatic. Then you can reel down to the bait, then set the hook, giving the fish time to eat the frog. My percentage of misses went way down using this technique.
James F. Cullen, Canastota, N.Y.
41. Short and soaked
I like to take a Snag Proof frog and trim one of the legs about a half-inch shorter on one side. This creates less drag on one side and makes it easier to walk the dog. I also soak the legs in an attractant to give off a scent trail in the water.
Nathan Alexander, Bigelow, Ark.
42. Try the stinger hook
Here are pictures of something I have been using for more than 20 years for short strikes on topwater frogs. I call it my stinger hook.
Mike Maring, San Antonio, Texas
43. Trim the tails
I always cut the tails off three-quarters of an inch. This makes the frog walk side-to-side a whole lot better and at the same time reduces the amount of short strikes.
Cody Milton, Searcy, Ark.
44. Make it snag-proof
This is another tip to try to improve the hookup ratio, which we all know is a problem. I take a small spinnerbait trailer hook and slip the surgical tubing over the eye of the hook, then run one of the hooks of the frog through the tubing. The hook will stand straight back and will not hang down and snag in the grass or whatever you are throwing it in. You can also put one on each hook to increase the hookups.
Eric Cantrill, Burnet, Texas
45. Add some weight to vary depth
Put weights on your Snag Proof frog. Reel the frog fast enough so the nose of the frog goes down, making a huge wake off of the eyes, and stop about 10 feet from shore so any following bass can hit the frog.
Joey Kelly, Centralia, Wash.
46. Ways to adjust depth
Put some lead tape on the frog's belly, with more in the back than the front (not too much, though). This allows for a longer cast, a slower presentation when needed, and better action moving through the water. The bass can sense the difference, especially in open water. When I think a frog is sitting too low, I stuff a couple of pieces of cut-up plastic worm inside it. This also allows for a longer cast and more floatation.
Tony Mehrl, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
47. Make your frog appear more natural
Cast the frog up on the edge of the bank and just twitch it off. This looks natural plus sometimes this will cause sand or debris to fall into the water, which tends to attract the bass.
Mike Pace, Atlanta, Ind.
48. Give your frog some candy
I use this trick every time I fish hollow-bodied frogs. On the way to my fishing destination I stop by a gas station and get my favorite childhood candy, Pop Rocks. (I buy a few packs because I gotta have some, too.) When I start fishing I make the leg holes a little bigger and put some Pop Rocks into the frog's body. (In the newer body styles, I make a 1/4-inch cut in the center of the frog's back lengthwise to insert the Pop Rocks so I don't damage the legs.) When the Pop Rocks come in contact with water they start crackling and popping, and they also leave scent behind. Try different flavors to see which one the fish like the best.
Adam Foster, Coweta, Okla.
49. Use logs and laydowns
Look for a laydown log or tree lying on its side with some of it sticking out of the water and about 2 to 4 feet from the shore. Cast to the shore, pull the frog in the water and shake. Try to make a lot of commotion. Then pull the frog on top of the log and let it sit there for three to 10 seconds. Then jerk the frog, making it appear to have jumped from the log into the water, and start to swim it back to you. Most hits come within the first 1 to 3 feet of "jumping" it off the log or laydown.
Ron Caponigro, Bensalem, Pa.
50. Cast into the lily pads
When frog fishing lily pads, an ideal cast that provokes many aggressive strikes is one that lands about 2 1/2 feet into the lily pads. Then walk the frog a couple of times until you reach the open water edge. Make sure you pop the frog just a little and wait ... A big bass will watch the frog land, and then wait until that open water moment to strike!
Nick Anton, Traverse City, Mich.